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Full text of "A history of Persia"

456                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
Khanikoff, in 1858, was not more successful. The
Afghan remembered the punishment meted out to Dost
Mohamed for receiving Vitkavich, and the Persian
Government was by no means ready to see Russian in-
fluence predominant at Herat. Consequently, KhanikofFs
mission was a decided failure,
The Assertion of Persian Authority on the Persian Gulf
Littoral—It has been stated in this work more than once
that Persia has never been a sea-power. Nadir Shah, as
mentioned in Chapter LXXIL, made an effort to assert
his authority in the Persian Gulf, but, conscious of the
difficulty of garrisoning its ports, he granted the district
of Bandar Abbas and the islands of Hormuz and Kishm
to the Shaykh of the Bani Maani tribe, in return for an
annual 'tribute. Towards the end of the eighteenth
century a fighting ruler of Oman, Sultan bin Ahmad,1
engaged in foreign conquests. Chahbar was first reduced,
and then Kishm, Hormuz, Bahrein, and Bandar Abbas.
In 1798 Sultan bin Ahmad received from the Persian
Government zfarman, by the terms of which, in return
for an annual payment of tomans 6000, he farmed the
Bandar Abbas district. In the same year an agreement
was made by this ruler with the English, who were
permitted not only to reopen their factory at Bandar
Abbas, but to garrison it with 700 sepoys. About this
period the British naval station of Basidu (Bassadore), on
the island of Kishm, was founded with the sanction of the
ruler of Maskat: it still remains British property, although
not at present garrisoned.
In the middle of the nineteenth century the Persian
Government decided to administer the ports directly, and
during the absence of Sayyid Said of Maskat at Zanzibar
expelled the Maskat Governor, An expedition from
Maskat recaptured the ports ; but the Persians, having
received large reinforcements, were too strong for Sayyid
Said, who was hampered by a British interdict against
movements of armed parties by sea. Finally, in 1856,
peace was made, on the terms that the Imam of Maskat
should farm the ports for twenty years on an increased
1 Vide Badger's Imams of Oman, p. 226.